As I come towards the end of the big project I have been working on since the middle of November, and can actually see the end of the tunnel gleaming with light before me, and think I will even really make money on this work, I begin to think it will be possible for me to take a trip into Mexico.
I have not gone south since Autumn 2010 when I went to Guadalajara, Teotihuacan, and Zacatecas. In recent weeks, between struggles with the sex education book I have been asked to transform from Spanish into English, I have turned my thoughts south, and wondered where I might go in February or March, and how I might not just enjoy myself, but actually learn and improve myself as an artist and a writer.
Now, keep in mind that this plan is very much in the dead shadow of my original desire, to live in Maya country during December and January 2012 and 2013, to experience the winter tourist season in this year of end-of-the-calendar tourist apocalypse. After several years of hoping to do just that – visit Maya country during the end of the calendar – I had to let that plan move into never-never-land beginning last spring when I realized I just was not going to have enough money left to go, not after spending all my savings on the delicious railroad trip I took with Mom last summer.
Then I got this job translating a whole book, and I began to understand I would have enough to go south after all. Not in December, but in February or March, after the holiday crush had ended.
So I began to think about where should I go now, now that I was not going to go to Maya country for the calendar. Should I go there anyway? Or…
I began to think of other opportunities, other delights in Mexico. Like Oaxaca, where I have never been. Or the great and ancient cities of Cholula and Tlaxcala, so important historically, especially to what I have written and still want to write about the conquest of 1519 and 1520.
Or perhaps, I thought, something more colonial, like Guanajuato, or San Miguel de Allende, two famously beautiful towns I have never seen.
Then, as I was google searching to see if there were any poetry reading groups in San Miguel, I stumbled upon the announcement of the
February 13 – 17, 2013
8th Annual San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival!
…and I was almost instantly hooked.
I am waiting until after the holidays to see if I actually get paid, and if I really will have enough to spend on this. But God willing and the creek don’t rise, I most probably will go south in early February, spend a week in San Miguel, and then come back.
There is a special deal on the hotel where the conference will be held, they are offering us half/price hotel rooms, so I will make a big plunge and spend almost 700 pesos a night (57 dollars) to stay in a very classy room (normally 115 or 120 dollars a night) – not the big suites or even the junior suites mind you, just a standard room – but still much more pricey than I normally get for myself even in Mexico. Much more than I have ever spent. Except I only have to pay half-price, so… hmmm.
I does mean, however, that I cannot travel around Mexico for three weeks like I wanted. I have to come home sooner.
But that will make my mother happy, and all the rest of the family who will be watching over her while I am gone.
This, as it turns out, might just be Santa’s present to me.
Except, of course, I have to buy it myself.
Oh well, some things never change.